Go to DaVita.com

Kidney Diet Tips

Archive for Kidney Diet

January 23, 2014

Online tools for the kidney diet

Knowing what to eat on a kidney diet can be complicated, so it’s good to know you can go online for helpful tools and education. DaVita.com offers education about kidney disease, dialysis treatments as well as an entire section on the chronic kidney diet, including hundreds of kidney-friendly recipes. Whether you’re pre-dialysis, on hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis (PD), you’ll find articles to help explain the kidney diet for where you are and healthy recipes that you can enjoy.

Welcome to DaVita Diet HelperBesides educational articles, DaVita.com offers the DaVita Diet Helper to help you plan your meals and keep track of your kidney diet. This invaluable tool was recently  updated with new features and functions. If you haven’t used DaVita Diet Helper recently, sign in on your computer, tablet or smart phone and check out the new look. Use it to plan meals, download DaVita suggested menus, create your own recipes and meals, create your own database of favorite foods, and track your daily food intake to see how close you are to your goals for potassium, phosphorus, sodium and protein.  Now you can access all the DaVita.com recipes directly in DaVita Diet Helper to easily build meals around your favorite recipes. Over the next several months I’ll show you these new features and how to use DaVita Diet Helper on the Kidney Diet Tips blog. Read more…

June 28, 2013

Herbs and Your Kidneys—Beyond Seasoning Your Food

Supplements made from herbs promise to prevent or cure many ailments, including kidney disease. Is there any truth to it? Or are people with chronic kidney disease (CKD) falling victim to the herbal products industry who makes money from unproven promises? When you run across claims a product will cure or slow kidney disease there are a few things to remember. Herbal supplements are not regulated by the FDA. They fall into the category of dietary supplements and require no testing. This means consumers may be the test group—and may be at risk since there is no required safety or effectiveness testing or regulation of herbal products.

Several postings on herbal products and kidney disease were of interest to me this week. Check out these resources, especially if you’re taking herbal supplements. Read more…

May 16, 2013

Kidney Diet Tips: Our Ever-Changing Food Supply

Have you noticed the changes occurring in our foods? I am amazed every time I walk through the grocery store. A few examples are:

Cool Whip® is no longer non-dairy; it now includes skim milk and light cream.

Cottage cheese, half and half and milk with expiration dates 1-2 months ahead.

Sugar and low calorie sweeteners are blended together.

Packaged gelatin and pudding mix and some canned or bottled sodas, lemonade and teas now contain phosphate additives.

Fresh pork and chicken may be injected with sodium-phosphate solution to maintain the fresh appearance while waiting for purchase.

Heat and eat foods extend beyond the grocery store deli section, and unfortunately, often provide half or more of the daily sodium target .

Can you think of other examples?  Read more…

October 18, 2012

Vegetarian Diets for Chronic Kidney Disease

 World Vegetarian Day (Oct 1), Vegetarian Awareness Month throughout October, and Meatless Mondays are among some of the activities drawing more attention to vegetarian eating.  What used to be a strange way of eating to the majority of Americans is now becoming popular and embraced by those seeking to improve health, save animals and protect the environment.

If you have chronic kidney disease (CKD) a vegetarian diet may help  protect your kidneys and delay progression to end stage kidney disease (ESRD).

Benefits of vegetarian diets include:

  • Lower protein intake, resulting in less kidney stress and decreased protein waste build-up 
  • Lower blood pressure, which reduces pressure in the kidneys
  • Decreased cholesterol, especially LDL, the cholesterol that contributes to artery narrowing, including the renal arteries
  • Better heart health with less risk of plaque build-up
  • Lower cancer risk related to less saturated fat and eating more grains, fruits and vegetables
  • Lower food costs (have you seen the price of steak or roast lately?)

If you decide to try a vegetarian eating plan but are unsure where to start, try adding meatless meals several times a week. Read articles such as The Vegetarian Diet and Chronic Kidney Disease written for DaVita.com by DaVita renal dietitian Chhaya Patel or Soy Foods: Vegetarian Options for a Kidney Diet. Check out resources such as Vegetarian Diets in Chronic Kidney Disease  from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Vegetaian Practice Group.

Find recipes online, purchase a vegetarian cookbook (for quick and easy recipes try Meatless Meals for Working People ), or subscribe to a vegetarian magazine such as my favorite, Vegetarian Times.  Many recipes can be modified for a kidney diet. There are a few vegetarian books specific for kidney disease such as The Vegetarian Diet for Kidney Disease  by Joan Brookhyser Hogan, RD.

Many of these resources provide information on protein, potassium, phosphorus and sodium–all concerns for a kidney diet. Even for people on dialysis it is possible to incorporate meatless meals or even a vegetarian diet with guidance from your renal dietitian.

In addition to saving kidney function,  you may find that a vegetarian diet also helps with your energy level– and that improves your quality of life!

Kidney diet resources from DaVita.com

 

 

October 2, 2012

Dietitian’s best kidney diet tips

 

Several weeks ago I was traveling to a meeting in North Carolina with two other DaVita dietitians. Our conversation led to discussion about what is helpful to patients following a kidney diet. Some people seem to embrace changes and incorporate the diet easier than others, and some kidney patients have long time struggles with adapting to new ways of eating.

Of all diets–weight loss, low cholesterol, gluten-free, etc., we know kidney diets are the most challenging. Most of us do not think about minerals in food, and putting foods into categories of what to limit or avoid and what to eat becomes mind-boggling.

 

 

I asked my colleagues to share their best tips and advice on adjusting to and following a kidney diet. Here are their best 10 tips:

  1. Change your mindset so the diet is not so overwhelming. Instead of looking at the restrictions, realize that almost any food can be worked in. Learn about the amount and frequency and how it impacts you.
  2. Focus on the issues or problem areas and do not try to change everything at once. For example, if your appetite is not so great and your protein level is too low, give more attention to this rather than all the other diet components.
  3. Retrain your habits. Identify items that need to be changed and work on making new habits. For example, if you usually order the sausage biscuit with cheese for a fast food breakfast, replace it with an egg on English muffin.
  4. Realize that eating is a habit. Once those habits are in place we usually don’t make decisions–we act out of habit. Examples of new habits include roasting a turkey breast for sandwiches instead of  ham; stocking beverages that are phosphate free so you are not tempted by those with phosphate additives; keeping apples or berries on hand instead of higher potssium banana or canteloupe.
  5. Ask what you get instead of what your give up. For example, your kidney diet may require more home cooking which can be more nourishing and give you more control over what goes into your body.
  6. Eat your meals and snacks slower to avoid overeating that adds extra potassium, phosphorus or sodium. Portion control can lead to better sodium, fluid or phosphorus control.
  7. Be an optimist and focus on the positive. For example if you try foods you never ate before, fix a new recipe, or discover low sodium seasonings you like, you are positively expanding your food choices.
  8. Eat to your dose. Whether it’s the amount of phosphorus to match what your phosphate binders can bind, or the amount of carbohydrate to match your insulin or other diabetes medication, think about how the foods your choose and amounts you eat work together to keep the balance.
  9. Savor small amounts of foods that are limited by eating them with mindfulness, thinking about the flavors and enjoying the taste and texture.
  10. Talk to others–patients, your dietitian and other healthcare team members. Find out what works, what keeps them motivated and what are their personal best kidney diet tips.

Do you have kidney diet tips you would like to share? Add your comments. It may make a positive difference for someone else!

 Kidney diet resources from DaVita.com

 

June 27, 2012

myDaVita.com: the newest resource for kidney patients and caregivers

The week of May 25, 2012 is an exciting week for DaVita. It marks the launch of myDaVita.com, an enhanced social networking experience for kidney patients and caregivers to connect with others in the kidney care community and build a social support network.

This online resource was designed to help patients and caregivers understand and manage all aspects of kidney care. myDaVita.com helps users to make lasting connections and build a support network within the kidney community.

 

 

 

 

 

Here are some of the exciting things myDaVita.com users can do:

  • Participate in forum discussions to ask questions, get support and inspire others within the myDavita.com community
  • Join groups within myDaVita.com to stay on top of topics they are particularly interested in
  • Save recipes and articles and organize into folders they create
  • Read recipe ratings and reviews and add personal notes to saved recipes
  • Interact with each other via private messages
  • Create a profile page customized with their personal story and hobbies, birthday, location, and their kidney connection
  • View other user’s public profile pages
  • Adjust security settings to share or make private the information they choose
  • Upload photos, and view their friends and groups they have joined

A bonus for Davita dialysis patients is the new myDaVita.com also contains the DaVita Health Portal, where patients can track and view graphs of weight and lab results, monitor medications, including refill status, insurance, and care team information. They can click on resource links to find articles, information and forums related to specific lab values.

With myDaVita.com, we hope users experience improved quality of life by connecting with others in the kidney care community more easily than ever before. For kidney patients, the ability to to be more proactive and engaged regarding their health, and have the tools to manage their kidney care will improve overall health and satisfaction.

To experience myDaVita.com go to www.DaVita.com, register for your account and start exploring myDaVita.com features. Let me know what you think.

 Kidney diet resources from DaVita.com

July 18, 2011

Staying on track with your kidney or dialysis diet: Match your mind set

Last time I blogged about the kidney diet reality and goals. This week is all about how your mind set helps you stay on track. 

There are different mind sets that help people stay on track with their kidney diet meal plan. For some of you, it is ‘all or nothing’. You do best with a list of foods to eat and a list of foods to avoid to manage protein, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and fluid.  Plain and simple, no gray areas and fewer decisions to make.

For others, you prefer ‘following the numbers’ and tracking what you eat. For example if your goal is 2000 mg potassium a day, you may learn to work in some high potassium foods, even though it  means limiting how much or how often, as long as your daily potassium total stays under 2000 mg. The Nutrition Log in DaVita Diet Helper is a great tracking tool for you to show you how much protein, potassium, sodium and phosphorus in the foods you eat.

Following preplanned menus is another way to stay on track if you prefer the ‘tell me exactly what to eat’ mindset. Knowing what to eat and not worrying about the numbers is much easier for some kidney patients. You will find the preplanned meals in DaVita Diet Helper useful because you don’t have to do any calculating to meet your diet goals. All the planning is done; you simply select the meals that are most appealing to you. After following these meals you learn which foods can be included and which ones are limited, making it easier to plan your own meals over time.

Another mind set is ‘what I don’t know can’t hurt me’. If you think this way, you may not be ready to accept or deal with the changes that will keep you healthier. By learning more about your chronic kidney disease or dialysis, focusing on foods that are good for kidney patients, and incorporating new recipes you like, you can progress to a better place and start making changes that will help you feel better and manage your kidney disease in a healthier way. For you, the Kidney-friendly Recipe section of DaVita.com is a good place to start. I also recommend a visit to the Diet and Nutrition section to find articles that will help your better understand your kidney diet.

Many of us are a combination of all the mindsets described, and what works may vary or change depending on your circumstances. There are many resources and tools to help kidney patients like you learn more and incorporate the kidney diet into  your life. If you feel alone, reach out to others dealing with diet issues by joining the DaVita discussion forums. The subforum ‘Diet/Nutrition’ is a place to post questions, read about  how people with kidney disease have figured out the diet, and receive help from the kidney community.

What’s your mindset that helps you stay on track?

Kidney diet resources from DaVita.com

July 8, 2011

The reality of following your kidney diet: thoughts from the renal dietitian

I’ve noticed some confusion around what to include and exclude on the renal diet for dialysis and chronic kidney disease, especially when it comes to including some of the higher sodium, phosphorus or potassium containing foods. In today’s post I want to give you my thoughts on the realistic side of following a kidney diet and diet goals. Read more…

June 11, 2011

USDA’s new Chose My Plate and your kidney diet

Last week a new diet tool to help guide people toward healthier eating, called My Plate, was unveiled by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The website, ChooseMyPlate.gov, provides detailed information on five Food Groups (Grains, Vegetable, Fruit, Dairy, and Protein Foods) including which foods are in each group, how much is needed each day, what counts as a serving and health benefits and nutrients. Visually, a plate divided into sections shows how much food from the food groups to fill your plate. Read more…

    Search blog

    Archives

    Subscribe to
    this blog

    Enter your email address:

    Share this blog








    About this blog

    Learn about the renal diet, get tips, and stay informed. Learn more

    Monthly Recipe Alerts

    Image: Recipe Alerts Sign up at DaVita.com for a monthly update on new kidney-friendly recipes.
    Sign up for recipe alerts »

    Discussion forums

    Image: DaVita 
        Discussion forum Join in or just read what others are saying.
    Check out the forums »

    Yourkidneys.com

    Image: Your Kidneys Empower and educate yourself about kidney disease, kidney disease symptoms, diagnosis and treatment.
    See YourKidneys.com »

    RSS Feed


© 2004-2013 DaVita Inc. All rights reserved. Web usage privacy | Privacy of medical information | Terms of use | FAQs | RSS
This site is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice from a physician.
Please check with a physician if you need a diagnosis and/or for treatments as well as information regarding your specific condition. If you are experiencing urgent medical conditions, call 9-1-1